Now that England’s final 31-man squad has been confirmed, we take a look at the team likely to be selected for their opening game of the World Cup…

15.Mike Brown

England’s clear stand out full back is pretty much guaranteed to start all the important games unless injury strikes.

14.Anthony Watson

Watson looks like England’s go to winger right now, his ability to cover full back is also a huge bonus.

13.Jonathan Joseph

The stand out player in the Six Nations who can also cover the wing meaning he will be one of the first names on the teamsheet.

12.Brad Barritt

Barritt is England’s only experienced inside centre so is likely to start unless we see something special from Burgess of Slade against Ireland.

11.Jack Nowell

Under pressure against France Nowell outshone Jonny May so looks the likely starter for the first game at least.

10.George Ford

Ford had a shaky start against France the other week, but still remains England’s most rounded option at fly half.

9.Ben Youngs

Was possibly outshone by Care against France, but has enough credit in the back from the Six Nations to start.


8.Billy Vunipola

With Ben Morgan still struggling for full match fitness, Vunipola looks the safest bet to start the first game at least.

7.Chris Robshaw

As captain of the site, it’s difficult to see England selecting anyone other than Robshaw at openside for the opener.

6.James Haskell

It’s a close call between Haskell and Wood, but given the Wasps man has had more game time for England recently he gets the nod.

5.Courtney Lawes

England’s all round lock, Lawes runs the line out whilst also being a physical presence around the pitch.

4.Joe Launchbury

It’s important to ensure Launchbury is fully match fit, but if so he has to start given his performances for England.

3.Dan Cole

Cole didn’t have his best game against France but remains England’s most impressive option at tighthead.

2.Tom Youngs

His line outs may look shaky but there is no other serious contender for the starting hooker spot right now.

1.Joe Marler

Has been England’s first choice loosehead for some time now and should remain so for the time being at least.


16.Jamie George

Could help shore up the line out if it goes awry. .

17.Mako Vunipola

Big ball carrying option off the bench.

18.David Wilson

The next best option to Cole at tighthead.

19.George Kruis

Offers more impact off the bench than Parling.

20.Tom Wood

Covers all three back row positions.

21.Danny Care

Offers more impact off the bench than Wigglesworth.

22.Owen Farrell

Covers fly half and centre plus has very reliable boot.

23.Henry Slade

Offers something different to Barritt and Joseph in the midfield.